MIL OSI Translation. Region: Germany / Deutschland –
Source: CDU CSU
Dear Mr President! Dear Colleagues! Today we are adopting the last budget of this parliamentary term. Household counseling is always a good time to look ahead. But I also want to take stock and say what we have achieved for consumers over the past three and a half years.
(Acclamation from the delegate Stephan Brandner [AfD])
In the coalition agreement, we set out the goal of giving consumers more security that they can move independently and independently in the various markets. We have also succeeded.
The big flagships in consumer policy, the vzbv, but also the various market watchdogs, the Stiftung Warentest: They are all really doing very well. The Advisory Council for Consumer Affairs and the German Consumer Protection Foundation, the many ombudsmen and also the arbitration boards – including our own arbitration board that we have set up – are doing a good job. Over the years we have supported all of these institutions with a lot of money, with new resources, kept them alive and even expanded them. The reason we did this is clear: you are doing a really, really good job for consumers, and you also contribute to good information. They are the point of contact for consumers, now even more so because we have introduced outreach consumer work. They are the organizations that put their finger on the wound wherever there are black sheep in the market, where the offers should not be trusted, where there is unfair business conduct.
These institutions help consumers directly, but they also help us in politics and they also help the judiciary; namely, they give good indications as to where you can put your finger in the wound and where we as legislators must make new laws or sharpen existing laws.
And that’s exactly where we wanted to go: We wanted to move away from a policy that only responds to calls, that only responds to newspaper articles, towards reliable analyzes and research. The market watchdogs are an example of this. We have introduced three market watchdogs – in the areas of finance, digital and energy – who systematically evaluate everything they get from the consumer advice centers and give us appropriate advice. Another example is the jobs that we have created in the universities, in research. This is also incredibly important for our work.
And, dear Mr. Fechner, we have introduced the model declaratory action. I should only like to remind you of Mrs Winkelmeier-Becker. I myself negotiated with your colleague Kelber. This is by no means something that you started on your own,
(Dr. Johannes Fechner [SPD]: Well!)
instead, mothers and fathers were involved, and I would like to mention my colleague Winkelmeier-Becker in this context.
(Applause from the CDU / CSU – Dr. Johannes Fechner [SPD]: Well!)
However, we have not yet kept a promise made in the coalition agreement; these are the fair consumer contracts. Unfortunately, they are still stuck in the Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection.
(Mechthild Rawert [SPD]: Then ask about the contract for outpatient care from the BMG!)
What is it basically about? In contrast to what was agreed in the coalition agreement, the ministry wants to stipulate that the contracting parties must only have a maximum term of one year. Today it’s two years and you can always cancel the contract after three months. That is why I urge you, Ms. Lambrecht, to be faithful to the contract!
(Laughter of MP Kai Gehring [BÜNDNIS 90 / DIE GRÜNEN] – Kai Gehring [BÜNDNIS 90 / DIE GRÜNEN]: That’s what the CDU says!)
That is what we expect from a Justice Minister. You have just announced that you will follow Mr Altmaier and that you will also be faithful to the treaty and that you will bring this law into the cabinet. We are waiting for it, we are waiting for it in the interests of consumers, because there will be more to this law, for example with regard to unfair telephone advertising. So we expect you to enforce that now.
(Applause from Deputy Dr. Jan-Marco Luczak [CDU / CSU])
But, Minister Lambrecht, when it comes to consumer policy, we are not only dependent on your issues and your assertiveness; consumer policy also plays a role in many other areas of federal policy. I would like to remind you about the Nutri-Score – this is the nutritional profile that appears on the food packaging; Thanks at this point to Minister Klöckner! -, which we have introduced, or, for example, the digital pension overview, which gives people an overview of their financial situation in old age and perhaps indicates their pension gap in old age. Thanks to Minister Heil at this point, not because he was related to me or by marriage, but really out of conviction! Thanks also to our colleague Peter Weiß, who always worked very, very strongly for this!
(Applause from the CDU / CSU)
The corona pandemic also affects consumer policy. We have seen that this presents us with completely new challenges, not only when it comes to enforcing air passenger rights and travel rights, but also in the digital world in general; there are new challenges. So: How can we specifically help customers, the consumers, to move safely on the platforms, to use digital offers, for example from their local dealers, but also from the major providers such as Amazon, Google or Facebook to move and all that without harming our inner cities and bleeding them to death? How can we – Mr Müller just said it – digitize and shorten processes for consumers? This does not only apply to the ministries, it also applies to consumer advice centers or – you mentioned it – to the patent office, it applies to universities, banks and insurers.
We need standardized compensation claims that can be registered digitally, as, for example, Minister Scheuer addressed to the railways in connection with the delays. This is the right way. We still have a lot, a lot of work ahead of us in the future. I wanted to tell you: we have worked well in the past and are well positioned for the future. I look forward to continuing there next year.
(Applause from the CDU / CSU and delegate Esther Dilcher [SPD])
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.